Sydney, Oct 23 (AFP) Australia’s Central Coast Mariners said negotiations with Usain Bolt were stalled over money Tuesday, also warning the sprint superstar he will not play in the A-League even if he signs with the club.
The 32-year-old’s quest has garnered worldwide attention, which intensified last week when he scored two goals in a pre-season friendly.
The Mariners said Bolt, who turned down a two-year, trial-free deal from cashed-up Maltese champions Valletta last week, had been offered a contract but added “negotiations remain ongoing” over the athlete’s footballing future.
The club said it was seeking outside sponsors to top up the offer to Bolt.
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported this week that Bolt’s representatives were initially seeking Aus$3 million (US$2.1 million) but the Mariners’ offer was closer to Aus$150,000.
Despite his pre-season double, pundits have criticised the 100m world-record holder’s footballing form.
The Mariners indicated the world’s fastest man may have potential as a player but was not good enough to be a regular starter if he chose to stay.
“We are looking at ways to do this as the club does not have the luxury to be able to do this in the Hyundai A-League.”
Bolt, who retired from athletics last year, has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway